The first, last, most, and least snow

snow buried carYep, there's snow in the forecast for Thursday. From the National Weather Service:

Thursday Night: Rain and snow showers, becoming all snow after 11pm. Low around 29. North wind between 6 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Thursday sounds generally unpleasant. Highs in the 40s. Rain. Then snow. So it goes.

Anyway, the question came up the other day about what's the average day for the snow of the season around here. Here's the first, last, most, and least...

Dates from the National Weather Service, since 1885. Averages for 1885-2000.

Average first snow: October 31

Average last snow: April 20

Earliest first snow: October 1 (1895, 1946)

That 1946 snow didn't make the front page of the Schenectady Gazette, though it did make the front of the local section. The Capital Region only got about a 1/4 inch -- but parts of the North Country got 13 inches.

Latest first snow: November 27 (1889)

Latest last snow: May 28 (1951)

Earliest last snow: March 21 (1987)

Snowiest winter: 1970-71 (112.5 inches) (list)

Least snowy winter: 1912-13 (13.5 inches) (list)

Most snow in a single day: 30.4 inches on March 12, 1888. (list)

Most snow in a storm: 46.7 inches on March 11-14, 1888.

Both those records are part of the The Great Blizzard of 1888. It was also known as the Great White Hurricane. (Apparently no one had invented the term "snowicane" by that point.) Odd local bonus fact: the blizzard prompted the creation of the Christman Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary in Delanson.

Last winter's first snow: November 8

Last winter's last snow: April 21

Last winter's snowfall total: 87.2 (#14 in the rankings)

Earlier on AOA: The Capital Region's snowiest winters


Once again, can I just say that you guys are the best?!

It's ironic that the "earliest last snow" was in 1987, since that was the year of the brutal October 4th snowstorm that I remember so well.


This is nothing compared to Buffalo, Rochester, and Michigan where I spent the better part of my young adult days. I hope we get whacked with at least one blizzard like stormthis fall and winter. Hooray for fleece pajamas!

That early October snow storm was one of the greatest weeks off from school of my life!

Since I don't get school off anymore, and I have to go to work, and/or telecommute... snow days have lost their charm for me.

Also, *I* have to shovel/snowblow/get cold... Nuts to that! :)

If you want more snow stats for New York, check out the Golden Snowball Award at

Buck up, Albany. It could be worse. At least we don't live in Syracuse.

I dispute the first snowfall. What do they consider snowfall? Because I remember September 27, 2005,6,7 ish that it snowed and I made the comment that it was probably the earliest snow fall in recent years. :)

I endured the snowiest winter ('70-71) when I was 10 years old. I live in Texas now and have a son who is ten years old. He just endured the hottest summer ever here (70 days over 100F). Not sure what it worse.

seems like this year reminds me most of 70-71 when the snow came and never was a long,hard winter. then there was the time it snowed on mothers day..just big wet flakes but what the hey? one year I saw something in the gutter.picked it up. it was a piece of permafrost that had been at the bottom of the snow bank all winter and was like stone in july. . well, I didn t have to walk to school barefoot in the snow as a kid , but I feel like an old codger remembering all this stuff.

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